Geez, Trump loyalists are so angry! It must be all the “winning.”
The chairman of Iowa’s GOP, Jeff Kaufmann was set to introduce Trump at his rally in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday night. As he took the podium, instead of just saying, “Trump is so super-cool, MAGA!” or whatever it is that people still stuck in the trance-like campaign mode of Trumpism are saying these days to deny reality, Kaufmann chose to go after a fellow Republican, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse.
Sasse was firmly against a Trump candidacy, before the election, but has since taken a more pragmatic turn. While I don’t think anyone is calling him a fan, neither is he in full flame mode, in regards to the president.
Apparently, that’s not good enough.
Stepping to the podium inside U.S. Cellular Arena as a warm-up act for the president, a visibly chafed Kaufmann announced that he needed to get some things off his chest and proceeded to spend most of his time berating the president’s critics in the media and on the left. It was in a brief rebuke of the so-called Never-Trumpers, however, that the Iowa GOP chairman singled out Sasse.
“We had Sen. Ben Sasse from Nebraska, he crosses the Missouri River, and in that sanctimonious tone talks about what he doesn’t like about Donald Trump,” Kaufmann said. “You know what, Sen. Sasse? I really don’t care what you like. We love Donald Trump. And if you don’t love him, I suggest you stay on your side of the Missouri River.”
Wow, buddy. I’m going to suggest decaf and deprogramming therapy. The election is over. Let it rest.
This could be uncomfortable, as Sasse is scheduled to appear in Iowa in two weeks, as keynote speaker for a local GOP dinner.
In an interview after Trump’s speech, Kaufmann acknowledged that his anger with Sasse had been bottled up since the pre-caucus period last year and said the senator had done nothing specific recently to aggravate him. That said, Kaufmann repeatedly cited Sasse’s “tone”—that of an intellectually superior Republican, he said, who treats Trump voters with “condescension”—as the source of his animus toward the senator.
“He’s an arrogant academic,” Kaufmann said of Sasse, a former college president. “He’s sanctimonious. His statements are geared toward what can help him. He’s arrogant. And he’s not a team player, when in reality the only reason he’s got any clout at all in the Senate is because the Republican Party has the majority.”
Actually, if your team isn’t for working together to help the nation first, and you only care about protecting Trump, you’re on the wrong team.
Kaufmann paused, then added: “The most important thing to Ben Sasse is Ben Sasse.”
And the most important thing to Kaufmann, who was saying all this where he knew Trump could hear him is appealing to Trump’s pugnacious nature, with little regard for further widening the divide in the party.
I hope Kaufmann got his pat on the head from Trump, afterwards. He worked hard for it.